Readers’ Place

Summer Plans

Spring is in the air….can summer be far behind?  Plan your next vacation with the help of some of our travel books.

With the Euro at a multi-year low, now is a good time to head to Europe.  Two recent titles will fill the reader in on Berlin’s turbulent history:

berlin now

Berlin Now: The city after the wall by Peter Schneider, translated from the German,

and Berlin: Portrait of the city through the centuries, by Rory Maclean.



French ghostsFrench ghosts, Russian nights & American outlaws: Souvenirs of a professional vagabond by NYT columnist Susan Spano covers, as the title suggests, some European countries in addition to the US, Vietnam, China and Mexico.



volunteer vacationsTravelers wishing to contribute to Latin America’s developing countries can research their options in Volunteer vacations in Latin America by Amy E. Robertson. The index lists 13 Spanish-speaking countries which in turn list organizations by name. Work in wildlife conservation, with children, and teaching English are most popular.


By Ina Rimpau

Posted by Barbara | 6 Apr 2015 | Comments Off on Summer Plans

Ideas Festival: Race Relations

As part of the Maplewood Ideas Festival, Marc H. Morial, the President and CEO of the National Urban League will be speaking on 20th Century lessons for 21st century America on Wednesday, March 25, at 7 pm at the Main Library. Here are some recently published books on US race relations owned by Maplewood Memorial Library:

Who We Be

Who we be: the colorization of America by Jeff Chang. 2014.  Kirkus Review describes Chang’s work as a “sprawling examination of how American society has responded to multiculturalism and demographic diversity.”



Reproducing racism

Reproducing Racism : How Everyday Choices Lock In White Advantage by Daria Roithmayr. 2014.  Roithmayr posits that US political, economic and social systems are structured to perpetuate white advantage, leading to persisting racial disparities.



ebony & ivy

Ebony & ivy : race, slavery, and the troubled history of America’s universities by Craig Steven Wilder. 2013.  Not only did America’s colonial-era colleges benefit from the unpaid labor of slaves kidnapped from Africa, they also provided the scholarly and cultural basis of support for slavery. The College of New Jersey comes in for particular scrutiny.

Posted by Barbara | 12 Mar 2015 | Comments Off on Ideas Festival: Race Relations

Garden Dreams

crocus_01Maplewood Library is setting up a seed library!  Maplewoodians will be able to get free seeds to plant and, in the fall, bring in seeds from their own gardens to share. Stay tuned for the inauguration this spring!

Meanwhile, turn your thoughts to gardening with these new titles:

Mister Owita’s guide to gardening : how I learned the unexpected joy of a green thumb and an open heart by Carol Wall, a novel about the transformative relationship between a middle-aged woman in a small Virginia town and an immigrant from Kenya with a miraculous green thumb.

Deep-rooted wisdom : stories and skills from generations of gardeners by Augustus Jenkins Farmer. South Carolina horticulture expert and organic flower grower Farmer offers a cornucopia of old-school wisdom from peers and mentors who often developed their plant-growing skills through trial and error.

Designing and planting a woodland garden: plants and combinations that thrive in the shade by Keith Wiley. A pragmatic how-to for creating magic in a challenging site.

Posted by Barbara | 9 Mar 2015 | Comments Off on Garden Dreams

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